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  1. #1
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    Western Bulldogs forward Josh Bruce on the secret meeting which sealed his St Kilda exit

    Western Bulldogs forward Josh Bruce on the secret meeting which sealed his St Kilda exit


    Josh Bruce couldn’t help feeling like he was cheating on St Kilda as he quickly slipped into manager Ben Williams’ bayside home late in the home-and-away season.

    He was there to meet Luke Beveridge, the man who would eventually change his football fortunes for a third time.

    Despite his reservations, the St Kilda spearhead had nothing to apologise about.

    As he revealed on Thursday what started out as a meet-and-greet with a potential employer almost instantly turned into something more meaningful.

    It would see him eventually become a Dogs player who ton Friday will help form one of the most powerful forward lines in football.

    “I was having a pretty strong second half to the year and my manager instigated conversations (about an extension past 2020) and they weren’t necessarily reciprocated and we just started to think long-term about my future,” he says in his first in-depth comments on the move.

    “We put a feeler out there and the Dogs were very interested I met Bevo and they were the only club I spoke to.

    “It’s so scary (meeting someone while contracted). It’s definitely a bit spicy. You are ducking down hoping no one will see you. I met him at my manager’s house and I was looking around to see if someone else was there. But he is a very impressive coach and a very impressive guy and almost as soon as I left that meeting I made my decision. It was definitely the majority of my reasoning.

    “Just the way he was able to build relationships really drew me to him. He is a relationships-based coach and he definitely has the guys on board with his messaging on game day so that was another key driver.”

    Ex-Giants defender Bruce, 27, could be forgiven for wondering why St Kilda went cold on him despite him kicking 50.24, 38.22 and, 36.27 and 36.20 in his four completed seasons as a forward, with 2018 an injury wipe-out.

    Yet in a trade period where Jake Carlisle’s future was also uncertain St Kilda’s trade ambitions quickly became apparent.

    St Kilda will hope Max King can quickly emerge, having known they needed to move someone on to use the picks – 32 and 51 – to satisfy their trade requirements.

    “I don't know if miffed is the right word. It’s the nature of the beast. This is a cutthroat industry that just got to prepare and look after yourself really,” said Bruce.

    “We got the indication from the club that they were going in another direction and that’s fine. At the end of the day if I was playing for a new contract with this season what it is and me being out at the end of the year, I would be so stressed out. So you never know what’s around the corner. I am grateful I had the opportunity to sign a long-term deal and settle my future.”

    Tonight at Marvel Stadium the Dogs trio of targets in Bruce, Aaron Naughton and Josh Schache will go into battle against Jeremy Howe, Darcy Moore and Jordan Roughead.

    Bruce admits it isn’t how he drew up his first Dogs game.

    “It’s pretty crazy. Six months ago when the fixture came out I was pretty keen to get in front of 50,000 people at Marvel Stadium. It was going to be one of the biggest games of my life. Now it’s an empty stadium and it’s going to be a surreal feeling. But we will still be taking footy very seriously.

    “I was watching TV and like everyone else was waiting with bated breath and the whispers were coming through it was going ahead so it’s definitely been an unusual week.

    “(The empty crowd) will bring a bit of a humorous side but as soon as the ball comes into the forward line it will be on for young and old. Pre-bounce it will be eerie but the side that can create their own energy and atmosphere will have a competitive advantage.”

    Don’t be surprised if Bruce wheels onto his right foot to pinpoint a teammate given his summer of discovery.

    He has been amazed to discover the Dogs put a bigger premium of skills and self-improvement than his former club.

    From the first day of pre-season 90 per cent of sessions were skill-based with a built-in fitness component instead of separate skills and running sessions.

    “I feel like I can hold my head up high after a game given the way I play in a contest but it’s been really good to brush up on the more skilful side of a contest,” he said.

    “Since day one the amount of skills and the way of thinking about the game are things I haven’t been exposed to before. You might even see the right foot come out for the first time in a decade.

    “Then there is the extras and handball club stuff. Most teams copycatted that from 2016 but I am really excited about the levels I can take my game to.”

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Re: Western Bulldogs forward Josh Bruce on the secret meeting which sealed his St Kilda exit

    Quote Originally Posted by Axe Man View Post

    “Then there is the extras and handball club stuff. Most teams copycatted that from 2016 but I am really excited about the levels I can take my game to.”
    Ixnay on the nadballh lubc Josh!
    WASH YOUR HANDS!!!

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